STORY BY: TIM SCHNETTLER
The Navasota Rattlers already had a target on their backs, but this week it got a lot bigger.
The Rattlers 49-6 victory over Houston Sterling combined with LaMarque’s overtime loss to Coldspring vaulted Navasota (3-0) into the No. 1 spot in the state rankings for Class 3A.
The first team that gets a shot at testing the Rattlers’ new ranking is Lexington (2-1), which is ranked seventh in Class 2A. The Rattlers and the Eagles will meet at 7:30 Friday night at Rattler Stadium. The game can be heard live on Navasota News 1550 AM.
Navasota started the season ranked fifth in the state, but has climbed in the rankings every week, reaching the summit heading into their fourth game.
“I told the kids all this week, the only thing the No. 1 ranking does for opponents is motivate them,” Navasota head coach Lee Fedora said. “It motivates everyone in the state because if they can go in and knock off the No. 1 team, how great that is for their program. We go in with the approach that it is a great honor.”
The Eagles, who are coming off an appearance in the last year’s state semifinals, started the season ranked fifth, but a loss to Cameron, the second-ranked team in 2A, dropped them.
Despite the loss, the Eagles are a team that will present the Rattlers with several challenges. First and foremost is the Eagles’ offense, which comes in averaging 340 yards and almost 30 points per game.
“We better be ready for a great game because they have got some talent,” Fedora said.
Senior quarterback Kogan Garrett gives the Eagles a dual threat, passing for an average of 197 yards per game, while also adding 36 yards per game on the ground. He has thrown for six touchdowns, while rushing for two more.
Kogan is not the only offensive threat that the Eagles boast, as tailback Cash Flot is averaging 100 yards per game and has posted three touchdowns.
Something will have to give, however, as the Navasota defense has been a salty unit through the first three games. After posting a shutout in the season opener, the Rattlers followed that by limiting a potent Coldspring offense to just 8 points.
One week later the Rattlers held Houston Sterling to 6 points, continuing its dominance in the early season.
“I thought our defense played outstanding,” Fedora said of the Sterling game. “When you hold teams to as low points as we have held them the last three weeks, we should be able to win a lot of games. I am very pleased with the way our defense is playing.”
The Rattler offense will also pose a tough challenge to an Eagle defense that has allowed 52 points through three games.
Navasota quarterback Kadarius Baker has thrown for more than 300 yards in each of the first three games. He has connected on 61 of 90 passing attempts and has 13 touchdown passes.
His top targets continue to be fellow seniors Solomon McGinty and Austin Collins who have 20 and 19 catches, respectively. McGinty has totaled 395 yards and five touchdowns while Collins has 457 receiving yards and six touchdowns.